The Associated Press announced their finalists for Rookie of the Year on Wednesday, and, as expected, two NY Jets players made the list.
Cornerback Sauce Gardner was nominated alongside Aidan Hutchinson and Tariq Woolen for Defensive Rookie of the Year while wide receiver Garrett Wilson received the nod along with Brock Purdy and Kenneth Walker for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Gardner is considered to be the runaway favorite for DROY and is essentially a lock for the award. Wilson, on the other hand, faces steeper competition and is far from a guarantee.
Both Gardner and Wilson were named Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association earlier this week. Here's to hoping that the Associated Press follows suit when award winners are revealed next month.
Other NY Jets news
Who did the Jets take in Mel Kiper's first mock draft?
ESPN's Mel Kiper released his first mock draft of the year on Wednesday, and he made quite the curious selection for the Jets. Kiper has the Jets selecting Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba with the 13th overall pick.
Smith-Njigba is a former teammate of Garrett Wilson's at Ohio State and is widely considered to be one of the best wide receivers in this year's draft. Still, a wide receiver at 13 feels unlikely for the Jets.
That's not to say the Jets can't upgrade at the position, because they most certainly can, but other positions like the offensive line, safety, or even linebacker feel like more pressing needs.
Smith-Njigba’s 2021 season was one of the best by a college wide receiver in recent memory, however, he was limited to just three games in 2022 due to a hamstring injury. This would be an exciting, albeit surprising pick for Gang Green.
Quinnen Williams snubbed from Defensive Player of the Year nomination list
The Associated Press also revealed their finalists for Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, and Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams did not make the initial list of three finalists.
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, and Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Micah Parsons will each be vying for the award next month.
Williams was arguably more efficient in 2022 than Jones, with higher sack and run-stuff rates, but the Chiefs standout had 13 more pressures than any other interior defensive lineman in the NFL.
Perhaps if the Jets played Williams more than 60 percent of the time he would have had comparable numbers to Jones. Alas, Williams failed to make the shortlist of finalists for Defensive Player of the Year despite his on-field dominance.